Big Iron: Upcoming Book Based on Famous Marty Robbins Ballads

Written by Jim Varnado, 'Big Iron' is the culmination of years of meticulous and exhaustive research by the author and his wife, Kathy. With an exclusive license to build on Robbins' songs, Varnado took on the task of turning five and a half pages of lyrics into a three hundred and eighty-eight page novel - and succeeded.


OKLAHOMA CITY, Feb. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Marty Robbins' legacy lives on, with the hotly anticipated March release of 'Big Iron', a novel based on three of his most epic ballads.


Combining 'El Paso', 'Faleena' and 'Big Iron' into one western novel was not an easy task, but author Jim Varnado – along with his wife Kathy – felt up to the challenge. Pouring over the legendary lyrics, the Varnados embarked on an odyssey of research that would send them deeper into Robbins' world than anyone had ever ventured before.


With an enviable and exclusive license to use Robbins' lyrics, Varnado began to develop the characters, wrestle with timelines, ask the questions that fans have been asking for decades and truly grasp the scope of Robbins' genius.


"I feel as if I'm standing on his shoulders," says the author. "While I was writing the novel, I realized something crucial about Marty's ballads – especially 'El Paso' – essentially, they are like Shakespearian tragedies set in the old west. They're that brilliant. I wanted to capture that with 'Big Iron' and stay true to Marty's vision."


Richly detailed, vibrantly written and at its core, both a rollicking adventure and haunting love story, 'Big Iron' will thrill both newcomers to Marty Robbins' work, and longtime fans pleased to see that the light of his brilliance has never been extinguished.




The ranger glared at Texas Red, "You murdered an innocent man with a family just so I wouldn't read this telegram. I'm going to kill you, you sob."


Big Iron is based on Three Marty Robbins Ballads, "El Paso", "Faleena" and "Big Iron". The Big Iron story, expanded to book length, combines three famed ballads into a two-generation story based on the talents, skills and genius contained within these songs. This is a story that never truly ends. It is simply retold by different people, in different places at different times. But in one form or another, whether with spears, guns or lasers, there is always a final showdown. In Big Iron there are two, a final showdown for each generation.


During the exhaustive process of researching, editing and writing 'Big Iron', the Varnados suffered a setback. On December 27th, 2012, Kathy Varnado had a near-fatal stroke. Yet, the authors soldiered on, with 95% of the work that Kathy did to make 'Big Iron' a reality, performed post-stroke.     


"It's a testament to how much we care about the project," says Jim Varnado. "We have the utmost respect for Marty Robbins' work and his talent. That's one reason we've spent so long working on the book – we want to make absolutely sure that we 'get it right'."


Continuing: "We even had something we called 'The Writers Cave'. We installed storyboards on the walls of the spare bedroom and then hung 21 clipboards at the bottoms of the boards – one for each chapter. We didn't leave anything up to chance and we want fans of Marty to know that we took this project extremely seriously.  That dedication actually made this an even more joyful experience for us. We wanted to do justice to Marty's genius, and I feel confident that we have."


'Big Iron' will be released on March 11th, 2014. The book is currently listed on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, the world's two most-trusted book vendors.


Barnes & Noble:

For more information on the book, as well as to view lyrics from the three ballads, please visit:


About the Author:

Jim Varnado is a retired computer programmer, who has been told since the age of eight that he has writing skills that should be developed. And he now has the time to develop them. His writing experience includes short stories and a monthly article (Mind Bytes) in a trade magazine for many years. He is a Master Mason, Shriner, and 32nd degree Scottish Rite. Varnado is also a Past Master of India Lodge #551 in Oklahoma City. He has two associate's degrees in Computer Science and Marketing. And has a Mensa tested IQ in the top 3/10 of one percent. And is a member of Infinity IQ club.

Media Contact: Jim Varnado, Big Iron, The Book, 1-844-444-6677,

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SOURCE Jim Varnado



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